My Account

Fire Action Notices: What is the best way of effectively conveying your fire evacuation procedures?

Whether the message is a fire safety one or a general safety message, the problems facing sign makers are the same: what is the best way of conveying essential safety instructions - through pictures or words?

When it comes to fire action notices the two other issues sign installers have is where is the best place to position these signs and what material should they be made out of.

Fire Instruction Text vs Pictograms
In terms of how the sign should appear, both the signs shown right are ordered in high quantities. However, increasingly sales seem to suggest more and more people are opting for the more pictorial, less wordy signs – similar to our sign B.  

Undoubtedly, sign B is more in tune with the very essence of the BS5499 which puts greater emphasis on the image and less on the text. Also more concise sentences are also far more appropriate to anyone in a panic situation. After all, if a fire is overwhelming a building very few people will have the patience, time or nerve to read Sign A in its entirety!

Location of Fire Procedure Notices

Although BS 5499 or the Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 rarely touches on fire action notices, the general consensus on locating fire action instructions is that they should go next to every fire alarm call point and next to the final fire exits. This is so the person raising the alarm knows what to do next and so all evacuees leaving a building through an unfamiliar exit know where the assembly point is and whether they now need to ring the fire brigade.

Finally, the question of which material to use: Plain or glow in the dark photoluminescent. Whilst currently there is no law saying that photoluminescent should be used, it is undoubtedly potentially very useful. Often, if a fire takes hold of the building the lighting could fail. If this were to happen then the photoluminescent fire action notice that would have soaked up both artificial light and natural light in through the windows, will glow and project the words on the fire action notice. The same material will also help highlight the fire alarm call point.

In conclusion, the best advice we can give is – where possible – select a photoluminescent fire action notice with fewer words and lots of pictograms, and position it next to every one of your fire alarm call points

If you have any question on the above, please do not hesitate to contact SSP Direct on 0161 413 7939.